cover image Miami, It's Murder: A Britt Montero Mystery

Miami, It's Murder: A Britt Montero Mystery

Edna Buchanan. Hyperion Books, $21.45 (244pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-802-8

With this third fictional effort (the second in a series), noted crime journalist Buchanan ( Contents Under Pressure ) liberates her central character from the up-to-now overwhelming presence of her Miami setting. Cuban-born Britt Montero, like her creator, covers the Miami police beat for the local paper, usually keeping one step ahead of the cops, and one step closer to danger. In this twin-plotted tale, Britt investigates a series of increasingly violent rapes and a selection of recent Miami murders, all involving old unsolved police cases. The rapist, who likes to powder his victims, writes to Britt and claims voodoo powers; and a retired, terminally ill cop pal of hers determines to bring to justice a powerful politician whom he is sure is guilty of the murder of a child many years before. Although the identity of one villain is easily guessed and other crimes are solved abruptly, Buchanan's assured, compressed prose deftly balances the chemistry that exists between Montero and Miami. With this novel, Buchanan delivers crime fiction that matches the high level of her Pulitzer prize-winning crime reporting. Literary Guild selection. (Feb.)